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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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352                               LIFE   OF
comprehensive system of national education. It was
not sufficient that schools were opened, order and
regularity introduced, and the position of instructors
raised; for a true education and to attain what was
required., a thorough revolution in elementary in-
struction was imperatively needed.
This reform was found in the views and method of
Pestalozzi, a native oF Switzerland, and a man. pos-
sessing a deep insight into the life and requirements
of the people, into the means of rousing it, and of
educating it according to its natural powers and
abilities. His system included all the elements of
popular education, and his method was calculated, at
the same time, to awate the reasoning faculties of the
young, to form their character, and to strengthen the
body and mind. Pestalozzi was eagerly employed in
disseminating his views by books, and by the erection
of model institutions in Switzerland. But few had at
that time any mind for such things, least of all the
governments. Such misfortunes as that of Jena had
to come to make the soil fertile far such great reforms.
As' soon as the necessity for a fundamental reform of
national education was acknowledged in. Prussia, it
was determined to introduce the Pestalo^zian method.
Nicolovius entered into personal communication with
Pestalozzi, young men were sent to his institution in
Ifferten, and it was determined to arrange a normal
institution in "Konigsberg^ on these principles.
So far had matters advanced when Humbolclt was
called to the head of affairs, and gave his uncondi-
tional support to the system. C. A. Zeller, a pupil
of Pestalozzi, was summoned to superintend tjtxe
founding of a normal school in Konigsberg, and to teach
the system to others, and arrived in September, 1809.
Zeller fulfilled his mission with admirable skill and
talent, and received a permanent appointment in
Prussia, and yet the reform still met with opposition.
The orphan establishment of Elonigsberg was to be
the proposed pattern institution, but Zeller found it
in a deplorable condition. The authorities would not